Sustainability and creativity

Corian® Solid Surface in ventilated facades:
a reliable, long lasting solution combining innovation, beauty and functionality.

Corian® Solid Surface for more than a decade has offered architects around the globe unparalleled design flexibility of ventilated rainscreen systems. Benefiting from superior aesthetics combined with high durability and low maintenance, it makes a smart choice for panelized exterior cladding systems transforming design ideas and inspiration into innovative, sustainable and beautiful facades.

Solid, homogenous in all its thickness and colored all the way through, Corian® Solid Surface is used to create custom-made panels capable of creating expansive and sleek vertical surface with inconspicuous seams. Inspiring decorative options are also possible, from 3D-textured effects and CNC pattern cutting, to curves, inlays and beautiful lighting effects.

The Shift building in Paris, France; photo courtesy of Axel Schoenert Architectes, all rights reserved.

Designed to breathe

The ventilated façade is the most effective construction system available for cladding buildings nowadays. A solution that slots in perfectly with sustainable architectural trends providing financial and environmental benefits. It is designed to breathe with a space between the cladding and load-bearing wall – an ideal location for insulation materials.

Exterior cladding panels made with Corian® Solid Surface are mechanically fixed to a substructure attached to the load-bearing wall of new or existing (retrofit) buildings. Thanks to this structure, a non-stagnant air chamber is created between the load-bearing wall and the cladding that allows for ventilation. The air chamber has an opening in the upper wall and another one in the lower part which, together with the micro-ventilation given by the open spaces, allow for a steady circulation of air. The “breathing” cavity or envelope systems, combined with an effective weather barrier, offer possibilities for high insulation values, with an insulation layer fixed to the outer wall, and contribute to a healthy indoor climate.

Rainwater and condensation are removed naturally from Corian® Solid Surface by air flowing though the cavity – so that the insulation material remains in good condition and effective over time. Penetration of rainwater is minimised and condensation is drained out through ventilation inlets and outlets. The air in the designed cavity will circulate due to air pressure differentials and thermal differentials over the height of the building. In a cold climate this causes the condensation moisture at the rear of the cladding to dry. In a warm climate the moving air will cool the inner layers of the construction, thus reducing the demand for colling energy. The building occupants can enjoy a low-maintenance environment with dry and comfortable conditions that can make a positive contribution to health, wellness and overall comfort. 

Improving energy efficiency

The one of greatest interest to the user here is building’s energy efficiency. A saving of up to 40% can be made with ventilated façades, thanks to the thermal insulation it provides. Good thermal insulation and energy saving are closely linked to the fact that, thanks to these façades, the environment is more actively protected. In this sense, the current contribution of buildings in saving/preserving the ozone layer – due to the reduction in the energy needed to heat and cool them – is prevalent.


Making a statement

A facade in Corian® Solid Surface allows to express design concepts through a number of techniques and capabilities, combining the longevity and toughness of a homogenous material with the proven benefits of ventilated facades. Corian® makes it possible to produce two or three-dimensionally formed façade sections as well as sharped sections for corners and lintel elements, therefore creating seamlessly corresponding façade connections. Features such as corners and edges can be either rounded or angled, as desired.

OVO Wroclaw centre in Wroclaw, Poland; project by Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture; photo by Sander Baks, courtesy of Gottesman-Szmelcman Architecture, all rights reserved.
Building in the Croix Nivert neighbourhood in Paris XVth arrondissement; project by Nakache & Orihuela Architectes ; photo Pierre L’Excellent,all rights reserved.

Designed to last

Ventilated facades adopting cladding solution made with Corian® Solid Surface can last a lifetime and still be unchanged thanks to high-performance durability, excellent UV and weather resistance, easy maintenance and repairability, reliable structural performance and certified fire rating of the material. The longer a product lasts, the more it is sustainable, because it avoids having to be replaced. Rather than “planned obsolescence” – that is, the strategy aimed at defining a product’s life cycle in order to restrict its duration to a set period – with Corian® Solid Surface is the exact opposite: it is “designed” to last.

If excessive surface damage is incurred after installation, Corian® Solid Surface has unique repair possibilities. Panels can be repaired on site using abrasive scouring pads and an orbital sander. In case of severe abuse, the damaged section can be cut out completely and replaced using Corian® replacement parts. And it can be renewed at any time through sanding. The material is highly resistant: it is not affected by humidity, heat, salt, dirt, sand, pollution or UV light and this contributes to its prolonged duration and associated benefits.

Corian® Solid Surface is non-porous material and requires very little maintenance throughout the course of its life: all it requires is the bare minimum to maintain it. Even covered with some of the most difficult dirt and graffiti, the panels can be restored to their original appearance through cleaning and sanding. And in addition, there is no need to use aggressive, corrosive or toxic substances when cleaning it which leads to a limited environmental impact.

Today’s advanced ventilated façade systems must accommodate a complex interface of materials and design while meeting some of the most demanding regulations. This entails building elements that provide both structural support and weather resistance, while also making a statement about the overall architectural expression of the building. Combined with standard substructures (based on an aluminum grid system with vertical “T” or “L” shaped profiles that ate mounted on aluminum brackets), facades made with Corian® Solid Surface are coordinated in every detail. The result is a robust system for creating safe, thermally efficient, sensually appealing and original solutions. Cladding panels made with Corian® Solid Surface are hung on horizontal “C” shaped profiles by the brackets (or clamps) with reverse “C” shape that are attached to the panel with a specific, suitable fixing system. As material had natural contraction and expansion properties related to changes in temperature, the system must be engineered with sufficient tolerances and flexibility to allow for a variety of differential movements.  

Allowing creativity to shine through

Corian® Solid Surface allows also creativity to shine through, with degrees of translucent diffusion, depending on color choice, thicknesses achieved via engraving and aggregate texture. This quality enables a range of luminous effects, both striking and ethereal, and enhances the individual identity of each façade projects. It is also possible to play with the light by exploiting the form and pattern cutting flexibility to achieve different effects with shape, space and shadow and with the dappling effects of sunlight, which will alter the appearance of the material, and its chosen color, by its movement through the day. Furthermore, in response to the increasing ingenuity in structural lighting design, a variety of colors of Corian® Solid Surface has been designed specifically to offer enhanced translucency. These refined translucent tones subtly alter depending on the level of direct illumination, adding a delicate beauty to the renowned strength of the material.

Corian® Solid Surface demonstrates strength and purity, reliability and performance. But above all, it is inspiration – a maverick material that can transform any space. The ventilated façade cladded with Corian® is a highly advantageous solution both from a financial and energy saving point of view. It is a commitment for the future and sustainability which, at the same time brings with it a considerable reduction in heating bills and increased heat comfort in the building.

New Omnicos headquarters in Bagnolo Cremasco, Italy; project by Beppe Riboli Studio; photo courtesy of Beppe Riboli Studio, all rights reserved.